Google receives "tens of thousands" of requests each year from the government to turn over user data, and it complies with any it deems legitimate. But the information comes at a cost: 25 bucks per head.
According to documents obtained by privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian under the Freedom of Information Act, Google charges the Feds $25 per account for surveillance services. (No word on if Google displays targeted ads alongside the data it turns over.) Yahoo charges $29, while Microsoft lets government spooks spy on their users for free. Most domestic wiretapping requests come from the DEA, so it's best not to do your drug-dealing via Gmail.
This is a bargain compared to other types of communications spying. According to Wired, cable provider Comcast charges $1,000 for a month of wiretapping. Still, it's all a lot cheaper than parking a van outside your house.
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